What are IHG points worth?


IHG doesn’t have an award chart.  Award prices closely follow cash rates, but there’s enough variance that we can’t simply use a formula to determine what points are worth.  Instead, we observe cash and award rates to see, in practice, how much points are worth.  This post has been updated with new data and a new improved analysis method since its previous publication in April 2022.


When collecting points and miles, it’s always a good idea to have a general idea of what points are worth.  Let’s say, for example, that you have the opportunity to either earn 1,000 Hyatt points or 2,000 IHG points.  Which should you go for?  If you don’t know what the points are worth, you’d likely go for the IHG points.  But, in my analyses I’ve found Hyatt points to be worth about three times as much as IHG points.  Therefore, on average, 1,000 Hyatt points are worth considerable more than 2,000 IHG points.  In this post, you’ll find my best current estimate of the value of IHG points.  To see our estimates across many programs, see this post: Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs).


In order to determine the value of IHG points, I collected real-world cash prices and point prices.  As I’ve done previously, I examined a number of major hotel markets in the U.S.: Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, Orlando, and Seattle. Within each market, I identified the first three search results with standard award availability and a guest rating of 4 or better, and I recorded both cash and award prices for three dates each: a weekday, a weekend, and a holiday weekend.

  • Why U.S. only? U.S. consumers are known to spend most of their points and miles on domestic travel.  Since the majority of this blog’s audience resides in the U.S. we opted for a U.S. centric view of point values.
  • Why Guest Ratings? The goal wasn’t to find the 3 best IHG hotels in each market. Instead, the goal was to find 3 IHG bookable hotels that are very popular.  Which ones are people really likely to book?  By using a combination of IHG’s default sorting and by picking only well rated hotels, I think it’s reasonable to assume that many members would pick these hotels.
  • Which paid rates were selected?  I always picked the best fully refundable paid rate shown on IHG’s website, but without applying any discounts like AAA, military, government, etc.  For this analysis, I always selected IHG’s member rate.
  • Which specific dates did I use?  
    • Weekday: Wednesday April 12, 2023
    • Weekend Day: Friday April 14, 2023
    • Holiday Weekend Day: Saturday April 8, 2023 (Easter Weekend)

New Calculation Approach

Starting 12/5/2022 with my Hyatt analysis, I began calculating Cents Per Point (CPP) using new formula.  In all past hotel CPP calculations, I didn’t account for taxes and fees or points earned on paid stays. I figured that those things basically cancelled each other out.  Going forward, I am including these factors, as well as resort fees, in the CPP calculation.  The calculation is based on the following terms:

  • Base Cash Rate: This is the hotel room rate before taxes and fees.
  • Total Cash Rate: This is the total amount, including taxes and fees, that would be paid if booking a hotel’s cash rate.
  • Resort Fee: This is a fee that is imposed by many hotels above and beyond any required taxes.  This goes by different names at different hotels: Resort fee, Destination charge, Founders fee, etc.
  • Points Per Dollar Earned: The number of points per dollar earned by non-elite members on paid stays.  For example, Hyatt members earn 5 points per dollar, Hilton, IHG, and Marriott members earn 10 points per dollar (at most hotels), etc.
  • Points Earned on Cash Rate:  This is the number of points you would earn if you paid the cash rate.  The calculation for this is: (Base Cash Rate) x (Points Per Dollar Earned).  For this calculation, our default approach is to assume that the traveler does not have elite status (elite members earn more points per dollar).
  • Point Price: The number of points required to book a night at the hotel
  • Cents Per Point (CPP): This is the value you get per point when using your points instead of cash to pay for a stay.

Hotel Programs that Waive Resort Fees on Award Stays

Hilton, Hyatt, and Wyndham waive resort fees when you book stays using points or free night certificates.  For these chains, the resort fee does not have to be considered separately from the Total Cash Rate (which includes the resort fee).  So, the CPP calculation is as follows:

CPP = Total Cash Rate ÷ [Point Price + Points Earned on Cash Rate]

Hotel Programs that Charge Resort Fees on Award Stays

IHG, Marriott, and many other hotel programs impose resort fees on award stays.  For these chains, the resort fee must be specifically taken into account in the CPP calculation. We do that by subtracting it out of the Total Cash Rate. The CPP calculation is as follows:

CPP = [Total Cash Rate – Resort Fee] ÷ [Point Price + Points Earned on Cash Rate]


Point Value

Analysis Date: 12/19/22 4/16/22 4/9/21 4/4/21 6/2020
Point Value (Median) 0.63 0.59 0.64 0.43 0.64
Point Value (Mean) 0.62 0.60 0.58 0.54 0.67
Cash Price (Median) $297 $253 $238 $238 $213
Cash Price (Mean) $355 $281 $233 $237 $229
Award Price (Median) 44,000 43,000 40,000 47,000 35,000
Award Price (Mean) 52,209 46,857 45,286 48,952 34,603
Minimum Point Value 0.45 0.39 0.28 0.28 0.40
Maximum Point Value 0.73 1.11 0.98 0.98 1.29

* Analyses prior to 12/5/22 relied on pre-tax numbers and didn’t account for points earned on paid stays. For this reason, I grayed out the numbers that can’t be fairly compared to the most recent numbers.

The median observed point value was 0.63 cents per point.  This means that half of the observed results offered equal or better point value and half offered equal or worse value.  Another way to think about it is that without trying to cherry pick good awards, you have a 50/50 chance of getting 0.63 cents or better value from your IHG points when booking free night awards.

The above analysis makes it look like IHG points have become slightly more valuable since the median changed from 0.59 to 0.63.  In reality, the difference is due to the new improved methodology.  When I used the new data and calculated the median with the old methods, the median actually dropped to 0.57.

Pick your own point value

Analysis Date: 12/19/22 4/16/22 4/9/21 4/4/21 6/2020
50th Percentile (Median) 0.63 0.59 0.58 0.43 0.67
60th Percentile 0.64 0.61 0.66 0.62 0.70
70th Percentile 0.65 0.62 0.68 0.68 0.73
80th Percentile 0.67 0.63 0.75 0.71 0.76
90th Percentile 0.69 0.65 0.80 0.80 0.86

* Analyses prior to 12/5/22 relied on pre-tax numbers and didn’t account for points earned on paid stays. For this reason, I grayed out the numbers that can’t be fairly compared to the most recent numbers.

When we publish Reasonable Redemption Values of points (RRVs), we conservatively pick the middle value, or the 50th percentile.  The idea is that just by randomly picking hotels to use your points, you have a 50/50 chance of getting this value or better.  But what if you cherry-pick awards?  With some other hotel programs, the 80th percentile cents per point is much higher than the median.  And this used to be true with IHG too, but in recent analyses I found that the 80th or even 90th percentile was only slightly higher than the median.  To be clear, there are cases where you can get better than 0.69 cents per point value, but the chance of stumbling upon that higher value is surprisingly low.

To me, this analysis shows that even those who cherry-pick good value awards can’t count on regularly getting much more than 0.63 cents per point value with properties within the U.S.  That’s unfortunate.

New Reasonable Redemption Value: 0.63

Our Reasonable Redemption Value (RRV) for IHG points was previously set to 0.6 cents per point.  With the new methodology in place, the value went up a tiny bit to 0.63.  RRV’s are intended to be the point at which it is reasonable to get that much value or better for your points.  In this case, it’s not necessarily easy to get much more value, but it’s definitely easy to get around 0.63 cents per point value.

  • Reasonable Redemption Value for IHG: 0.63 cents per point (unchanged)
  • Reasonable Redemption Value for those who cherry pick awards: 0.67 cents per point

Overvaluing vs. Undervaluing Points

There is no perfect way to estimate the value of points.  Decisions we made here in some ways overvalue points and in some ways undervalue points.  The hope is that these things roughly offset each other…

Factors that cause us to undervalue points

  • With hotel programs that offer 4th Night Free Awards (IHG, with some credit cards), or 5th Night Free Awards (Hilton & Marriott), or award discounts (Wyndham), we do not consider the point savings in our analyses.
  • With hotel programs that offer free parking on award stays to top-tier elites (Hyatt), we do not factor this in.

Factors that cause us to overvalue points

  • We do not use discount rates (other than member rates) in our analyses.  In real-life, many people book hotels cheaper (and sometimes far cheaper) by using AAA rates, government & military rates, senior rates, etc.
  • We do not use hotel promotional rates.  Often, individual hotels have deals such as “Stay 2 Nights, Get 1 Night Free” which can greatly reduce the cost of a stay.
  • We do not use prepaid rates in our analyses.  Sometimes these rates are significantly lower than refundable rates.
  • We do not factor in rebates which can be earned from booking hotels through shopping portals.
  • We do not factor in extra points earned on paid stays for those with elite status.
  • We do not factor in rewards earned from credit card spend at hotels.
  • We do not factor in hotel loyalty program promotions: Most promotions, but not all, only offer incentives for paid stays.  We often see promos offering bonus points, double or triple points, free night awards, etc.
  • With hotel programs that waive resort fees for top tier elites on paid stays (e.g. Hyatt), we do not factor this in.


Based on the latest analysis, I increased our IHG RRV from 0.6 to 0.63 cents per point.  The increase is due to our new and better methodology which now takes into account taxes which are not charged on award stays and resort fees which are.  Further, the latest percentile results show that those who cherry-pick awards (80th percentile) can expect to get around 0.67 cents per point.  That’s not very different from the median.  It shows that opportunities for getting far outsized value from IHG points have dwindled with time.  Sad.

For a complete list of Reasonable Redemption Values (and links to posts like this one), see: Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs).

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